Education International
Education International

Equality officers throughout Europe ask for the release of Ingrid Betancourt

published 29 April 2008 updated 29 April 2008

The members of the EI Pan-European Equality Committee who met from 1-2 April, signed a petition asking for the release of Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt.

To download the petition in pdf format, please click on the link below.

The signed poster was also forwarded to the Belgian Committee of Support for Ingrid Betancourt.

A Colombian politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist, Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on February 23, 2002 while campaigning for the Colombian presidency.

Six years later, she is still being held by guerrilla as a key hostage for a possible humanitarian exchange of prisoners. The situation of Ingrid is, unfortunately, not an exception and there are many Colombians, among them teachers and their family members that are currently held hostages.

The case of teacher Gustavo Moncayo is an example of this reality. Moncayo marched almost a thousand kilometres in 46 days from Sandoná, in the southern department of Nariño, to Bogotá and met with the Colombian president to press the case for the humanitarian exchange. His son has been a hostage for 11years.

Education International supports the actions of the Colombian labour movement in its promotion of a negotiated solution for the armed conflict and for the humanitarian exchange of hostages. The international education community stands in full solidarity with the victims of violence in Colombia and continues to advocate for the respect of trade unions and human rights and the end of violence against teachers and an end to impunity. EI strongly condemns the fact that since the year 2000, a total of 337 teachers have been murdered in Colombia and none of the perpetrators of these crimes faced justice.